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Random Thoughts - The Illusion Of Free Will

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Written by   304
1 year ago

This is my second attempt to write out some of the thoughts in my mind. The first attempt was so incoherent because I was writing about too many separate topics into one; astro/quantum physics, biology, psychology, etc. This one will just focus on one specific topic, which is about the illusion of free will.

Free will is defined as the ability to make a choice without impediment. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

My argument is that the choices we made, may be influenced or changed or impeded, without being aware of it, thus giving us the illusion that we had made those choices of our own free will.

- Scientists can predict your decisions 11 seconds before you make them. There had been multiple experiments done about this.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

Source: https://futurism.com/neuroscientists-predict-decisions-11-seconds

- Human behaviors can be manipulated and influenced to make specific decisions, while giving the illusion that they are the one making it. This is what some magicians do for their magic tricks. In psychology, it is something called “Priming”. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priming_(psychology)

- Certain drugs like MDMA are proven to make people more sociable. If ingesting certain chemicals could change your personality and the actions you take, then one must consider how our daily diet affect our day to day decisions. If our actions are be influenced by what we eat, then how much of free will is actually free?

- Studies show that judges gave more lenient decisions at the start of the day and immediately after a scheduled break in court proceedings such as lunch. If people whom are supposed to be impartial can be influenced by their food intake, then how much of free will is actually free? Source: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/apr/11/judges-lenient-break

- The bacteria in your gut can affect mood, behaviors, and mental health. Sometimes, I do wonder how much of my thoughts and decisions were made by me and how much was affected by the bacteria or other factors. Source: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/evidence-mounts-gut-bacteria-can-influence-mood-prevent-depression

- Activating certain parts of your brain using Electrical Brain Stimulation can turn a person into temporary savants. If wearing some weird hat to activate certain regions can turn you into something you’re not (albeit temporarily), then who really are you? Source: https://www.wired.com/2012/07/unlock-inner-savant/

I had been contemplating about my very own existence for a long time now. In fact, it has bothered me enough to publish a book questioning reality. This feels like a Sisyphean task. I feel like I’m an ant, stuck in a cage, that no matter what I do or how I try, will remain insignificant and unable to get out of this predicament, so what’s the point of even trying? That was a really despondent way of looking at life. A human’s mind was evolved to survive, not to understand the Universe.

And so, I leave you with one of my favorite poem by Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Written by   304
1 year ago
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Comments

Nice article ♥️♥️

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11 months ago

Give me a tip to earn like u..

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1 year ago

I feel like I’m an ant, stuck in a cage, that no matter what I do or how I try, will remain insignificant and unable to get out of this predicament, so what’s the point of even trying?

I have eventually found the opposite. In this moment, each of us is both relatively insignificant on a cosmic scale, and relatively colossal on an atomic or even biological scale. Free will is an anthropomorphism. We and the universe are what we are whether we ever figure it out or not. If it's a choice, then do the right thing. If it's not, then hey it doesn't matter what you think so do the right thing. Also if it helps, you can always think about just doing the right thing for all the trillions of cells that are depending on you :D

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1 year ago